Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finishing Well

Over the course of a lifetime there have been numerous books that have impacted my life and changed me forever. One that comes to mind immediately is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

The ten Boom family lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation. Appalled by the treatment of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis, they took it upon themselves to shelter Jews in a secret room in their house.

Ultimately, the ten Booms were arrested -- but the Jews hiding in their house escaped detection. The ten Booms were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where Corrie and her sister Betsy managed to stay together until Betsy passed away there.

Corrie was finally released -- the only one in her family to survive -- apparently because of a clerical error. But the core of the book is the trial of faith which Corrie and Betsy go through in the camp, and the inspiration that Betsy was to her sister and the women in the camp.

You can see the trailer of the movie of The Hiding Place here. And you can find other excerpts from the movie also on YouTube.

The book, and then the movie, had a great impact on my life during an extremely difficult time in my life, and also on the lives of my pre-teen (at that time) children. We have never forgotten Corrie's story and talk about her frequently.

Throughout my lifetime I have read, I think, just about every book Corrie had ever written (she passed away in 1983 at the age of 91), and I have loved every one of them.

But I recently discovered a book I'd not read -- one not written by Corrie herself, but by her latter-years companion, Pamela Rosewell Moore -- about another form of imprisonment that Corrie suffered in her end days.
Corrie suffered several strokes in her 80s. She was in and out of hospitals, undergoing physiotherapy, making headway -- until another stroke would hit. She ultimately lost her speech completely, but lived for quite some time after that...communicating with eyes, through elaborate guessing games with those around her.

"For those five silent years of imprisonment, Corrie's spiritual depth offered mute testimony to her ongoing trust in her heavenly Father.

"The book attests to the truth Corrie loved so dearly: that in spite of everything else, Jesus is always Victor."

This incredibly moving account will encourage anyone, but especially those who are elderly, handicapped, or bedridden -- or those who work with them.

I am none of the above (well, getting to be elderly!), but I was so moved by what I read that when I had finished the book I wrote the following in my journal:

Lord, I desire to 'finish well'

I desire that my life would be pleasing to you to the end.

I desire not to be crotchety and cranky, but to be...

loving and compassionate
full of wisdom (the kind that comes with grey hairs!)
taking care of my health and my body


with a clear and bright mind for as long as possible!

Remember, Lord, that you said;

"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

I am trusting that there is not!

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